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 Coptic Christians 'Ready to Forgive' After Suicide Bombing Kills 24 in Cairo Church

Christians in Egypt have forgiven those responsible for the deadly suicide bombing at St. Peter and St. Paul's Church in Cairo, which left 24 Christians dead and 49 others injured, Coptic Bishop Anba Angaelos told The Christian Post on Wednesday.

Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced on Monday that it was 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa who entered the church attached to the St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral on Sunday morning and detonated a 12-kilogram explosive that killed mostly Christian women and children.

Additionally, four others — three men and one woman — have been arrested on suspicion that they aided the suicide bomber in the terror plot.

Although the Egyptian government initially believed that the Muslim Brotherhood was responsible for the attack, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack and issued a statement that identified the suicide bomber by the nom-de-guerre Abu Abdallah al-Masri.

But regardless of who is responsible for the attack, Angaelos, the general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, told CP in a phone interview that the persecuted Coptic Christian community will not respond to the attack with vengeance.

"Historically in Egypt, after everyone of these attacks or similar attacks, of course there has been anger and public outcry, but there hasn't been retaliation or revenge," Angaelos explained. "That is one thing that we are very thankful for."

"As a church, we really haven't blamed anybody. We are waiting for a formal investigation," Angaelos continued. "If IS has claimed responsibility it doesn't make it any more or less painful. Our pain is in the loss of people. Our pain is in a mindset and a conscience that can actually carry out this kind of act, whoever it is."

"We are praying that there is healing in the community. We are ready to and we already have forgiven people for doing this because at the end of the day, a lack of forgiveness harms us more than anyone else," Angaelos told CP. "I think that is something that we need to be mindful of as Christians, and I am very proud to say that this is something we have seen Copts doing very naturally and organically for decades."

from: http://www.christianpost.com/news/coptic-christians-forgive-suicide-bombing-kills-24-cairo-church-172134/


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